With my friends and lawyer colleagues of my past: Tricia Nakamatsu and Allen Yadao at Highway Inn in Kaka’ako, Honolulu, Hawaii for lunch on November 22, 2017. Allen and I have many moments of laughter. Tricia has the kindest soul and her writing style has influenced me greatly. I’m thankful to have them in my life! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!!!
#friends #friendship #lawyers #attorneys #highwayinn #restaurant #food #lunch #pulehuribs #kakaako #honolulu #hawaii #thanksgiving #thankful #mindfulness #gratitude
Don’t let a little dispute injure a friendship. – Dalai Lama
#friendship #friends #friends #quote #quotestoliveby #dalailama #buddhism #peace #innerpeace #compassion #empathy #love
Path to true love may start with your BFF. With Valentine’s Day near, here is a nice CNN article on how important it is to have an intimate partner who is also your best friend. According to the article, “Friends enjoy spending time together, share similar interests, take care of each other, trust each other and feel a lasting bond between them. It isn’t a coincidence that these all happen to be qualities that also define successful intimate relationships.”
I woke up this morning of Thursday January 5, 2017 from a wonderful dream in which I had a great talk with Congressman K. Mark Takai who I became friends with while I was a student government leader at the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii at Manoa (ASUH) and Mark was a young newly elected politician in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. In my dream, Mark and I were talking in his old townhouse in Waiau, Pearl City on Oahu, Hawaii. We were smiling and laughing like the times when we first met.
At one point we were lying down and staring at the ceiling as we chatted. It was like before I got elected into the Hawaii State House of Representatives, which distanced our relationship because I was part of the faction aligned with Hawaii House Speaker Calvin K.Y. Say, a family friend and friend of my late grandfather Maurice Karamatsu. Speaker Say married the daughter of grandpa Karamatsu’s really close friend Stephen Kotake, founder of Kotake Shokai, an import company, and a leader at Jodo Shu Hawaii with my grandfather. I became good friends with Speaker Say, and I know that was hard on Mark because his faction was trying to take over the House from him.
Well in my dream, Mark and I were friends like before the whole political faction issue. Prior to Mark passing away on July 20, 2016, I had called his cell phone and left a heartfelt message for him. I’m not sure if he listened to it. I’m hoping that he did. It’s for this reason that I never felt closure with Mark because I wanted him to know that I really enjoyed our times together and that I cared deeply for him as my friend even though we ended up in opposite political factions. In my dream, it felt so good because I knew that the politics didn’t matter anymore to him – all that mattered was our friendship. That was the talk I wanted to have before Mark passed away. I miss him.
My breaths may be shorter,
but my dreams with you are longer.
You see, either way, you’re still with me.
Soon it’ll be my time to go,
but my memories of you will come with me,
so even though I’m not here, you will always be with me.
– Jon Riki Karamatsu, December 6, 2016 –
[My friend Michael Oasay and his love for his wife Yvonne inspired me to write this poem. She told me how he was loving and supportive of her and her children for five years before they started dating. I thought that was so romantic, so I put it into writing in just a few minutes early this morning after I visited Mike at the hospital the night before. I knew Mike since I was in elementary school and Boy Scouts. His family and my family have been friends since our childhood. Mike is battling cancer, which is in a bad stage right now. Even though I know what’s before us, I’m hoping for a miracle. Mike’s such a wonderful person demonstrated by his unconditional love for others. I strive to be more like him. Please be kind to one another. I love you all. Love, Jon]
I’m crying as I type this entry in dedication to my friend Clift Tsuji, Hawaii State Representative from Hilo, Hawaii. He passed away today, November 15, 2016. He had an amazing life as a politician, banker, and businessman. Below, you will see a picture of pink clouds among blues skies that I took yesterday, just after I found out Rep. Tsuji was taken to the hospital. I also dedicate the song below to Rep. Tsuji, “Shelter” by Porter Robinson & Madeon. The lyrics touches my heart: “It’s a long way forward, trust in me. I’ll give them shelter, like you’ve done for me. And I know I’m not alone, you’ll be watching over us until you’re gone.”
I will continue to seek your guidance as I carry on forward.
Rep. Clift. Tsuji & Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu during conferences.
I will miss my dear friend Clift Tsuji, Hawaii State Representative from Hilo, Hawaii. This is one of my favorite pictures of Representative Clift Tsuji and I – caught candidly as we were in the middle of conference hearings while I was serving as a Hawaii State Representative. I enjoyed my time with him, our travels to Japan, and collaborating with him in creating laws and programs. When I ran for Lt. Governor, he had me sleep at his house in Hilo, Hawaii. After I left politics, Rep. Tsuji supported my private sector projects and gave me valuable encouragement. We regularly hung out or had meals with friends. One of my funniest moments with him was when he tried to introduce me to a girl in a shopping mall in Japan, and I literally ran away. He would always tell everyone how I sprinted and leaped away in the busy mall. It’s hard to believe that I can’t talk with him anymore, but I know he will still be with me as I proceed forward.
Rep. Clift Tsuji, Speaker Calvin K.Y. Say and Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu
At Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin Bon Dance
Rep. Clift Tsuji, Kazue Uehara, Rep. Jerry L. Chang, and Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu